It’s so wonderful to me, as the director of Sust Enable: The Metamentary and The Sust Enable Project, to see a surge in new independent documentaries taking a reflexive and/or allegorical approach to the stories they are telling. This film in particular seems to suggest that in the story of a building, one can see the shapes of a story about how humans can create a sustainable future. In my experience, asking questions about what makes something–like the Tuhoe Building–sustainable necessarily requires deeper reflection and this kind of holistic, systems-thinking storytelling that seems to be telling more-than-one stories, integrating multiple scales and angles, into one whole. I look forward to seeing the full film!
Sust Enable has adopted many forms throughout its development from a seed film idea two years ago, derived out of filmmaker/author Caroline Savery’s remarkable struggles with the Sust Enable episode series in 2008.
Caroline wanted to share how her life had been radically altered–for the better–through practically testing her naive, culturally-influenced attitudes about what sustainability means in a three-month “sustainable living” experiment. With a ten-year background in filmmaking, she wanted to tell this story through the film medium–namely, with a documentary that would illustrate her trials, tribulations, and her maturing philosophy that this one little word, “sustainability,” could encode a massive shift in culture, consciousness and conduct. And from the tough-earned insights she learned about sustainability, it was important to her to approach the production of the documentary film in an authentically sustainable, holistic way.
This seed developed into an ambitious vision. What if the entire film production process was built upon an adapting, evolving list of sustainability principles? The world is currently working out definitions of sustainability in a variety of settings, fields, and lives–are there any emergent, common themes to this movement that the film could use as guidelines and models? What if the film’s entire process embodied these values–would the final product not only be about what sustainability means, but actually look, feel, and be a more sustainable film? How would this effort contribute to global sustainability? Continue reading